No Knead Bread
This No-Knead bread is easy and is packed with flavour! This has gained so much popularity. Jim Lahey (at least as far as I know) came up with the no-knead recipe; and whether its Knead or not the real important point here is the long fermentation, this is key; as a consummate procrastinator, starting something then finishing it later, really works for me!
Servings: 15 Slices
- Dutch Oven, Measuring Cup, Mixing Bowl, Thermometer, Scale, Scoring Knife, Banneton Basket or Proofing Bowl, Wooden Spoon.
- 500 gm White flour organic
- 10 gm Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
- 5 gm Crushed Pepper optional
- 5 gm Rosemary optional
- 5 gm Onion flakes optional
- 300 gm water 28 – 31
- 7 gm Fresh Yeast or Dry Active
- Mix all the ingredients into the flour other than water, and if you want to play with flour mixture a bit you can get away with it on this recipe. The recipe as it stands makes a light fluffy loaf; if you want to add some different textures, however, use 450g white flour and add either 50g hard whole wheat; or 50g 7 grain; or 50g rye, experiment, play with it. Next, warm up some water to 28-33 degrees, if you are using fresh yeast add it to the water and let it dissolve or crumble it in with the flour, then add the water and mix well with a wooden spoon. The mixture will be very dry, don’t fret! Now comes the tough part leave it alone! Cover it up with the lid if the bowl comes with one or use a wet towel or saran wrap. Let the mixture sit for a couple of hours and then place in the refrigerator for a couple of days, checking in on now and then to punch back dough if it has risen too much; or let the mixture sit for 12 -18 hrs for same-day method.
- Now that it is fermented whether retarding the fermentation over a few days or using a same-day method; gluten has now developed. As this is called no-knead bread; you can skip the stretch and fold step that's next, but I incorporate stretching & folding. Stretching and folding makes a better dough; do this by taking a corner of the dough stretching it out as far as possible without tearing the dough then pull it back on top of itself; rotating the dough 90 degrees each time; do this 3-4 every 15 minutes. Let sit for 30-60 minutes, allowing the dough to rise.
- You now need to tighten the dough up into a nice little ball using a dough blade or hands, to prepare the dough for its final proof in a forming bowl, you can use any 1800 ml or 8 cups container or a banneton basket. Flip the formed ball seam side up; I place it on parchment paper dusted with cornmeal then put it in the bowl. Let the dough rise, this is the proofing stage; the proofing for this recipe will only be about 30-60min; when the dough rises by roughly 40%, it's ready for the oven; if you are placing dough in the refrigerator overnight which is recommended; you can place in fridge after a 20-30% rise is fine. Keep an eye though as you do not want to over prove and have the dough fall, don’t be overly anxious! just try to catch on the rise. Touch the dough with your finger if the dough responds back gently its good to go if it responds too quickly it has not finished. The best conditions for this is at 78 degrees F or 25 degrees C if you want you can stick it in the oven with the light on this will simulate a good environment for proofing. If you leave on the counter, it will rise, depending on your climate and house temperature that will dictate its speed of the proofing.
- Now that it has risen place in the refrigerator overnight is preferred but at least for a few hours; make sure bowl is covered with lid or saran wrap; to keep moist. Place Dutch oven in a preheated oven at 550 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Now take the bowl out of the refrigerator and score with a scoring knife or sharp knife; this is much easier now that the dough is cold. Sprinkle with some seeds on for show sesame and poppy are a good suggestion or whatever you would like to garnish with. You can also do this right after placing in your forming bowl, prior to final proof for easy prep.
- Take Dutch oven out of the oven, placing on the stove and removing lid; keep the loaf in the parchment paper place gently into Dutch oven then get a little water sprayer and give it a few squirts just enough to dampen and create some steam. Cover and return to oven for 5-10 minutes, then turning down the oven to 450 degrees and set timer for 30 minutes; ovens can vary in temperatures so my times should be used as an approximation; after 30 minutes loaf should be golden brown at this point If you like a softer crust (my preference) brush bread with olive at this point; leave lid off and return to oven for 5-10 minutes until a darker brown. Take the loaf out of Dutch oven and let it air on a rack for a couple of hours before cutting.
Some further variations to this would be; after you initially add water and yeast, letting the dough rise overnight. Knead the dough, yes that’s right, knead! kneading develops the gluten in your dough, giving the dough structure. Although you have created gluten by the slow fermentation process a little help in further development adds to your texture. You can fold and stretch or knead the bread the old way here’s a good video from Allrecipes. Use a dough knife or scraper to help round up the dough off the surface. BTW do not over flour the surface! All this does is very temporarily ease its sticky texture but the dough eats it up the extra flour just makes for tough bread. Knead your bread tell it starts to retain its strength; you can do this by holding it up and pulling at it will show you if it holds that membrane without tearing.